Zawitz dining room
Homeowner Scott Zawitz added “a bit of Hollywood fun” to his dining room with a starburst mirror and a crystal chandelier. He designed the maple-and-walnut inlaid floor in collaboration with Timeless Wood Floors.  Photo Gallery »

To say Scott Zawitz’s 4,000 square feet of golden-hued modernist masonry and steel stands out among its neighbors understates the case. His leafy block in a quiet stretch of Humboldt Park is otherwise lined with modest clapboard houses built early in the last century. “I think of myself as an adventure man,” says Zawitz of his home’s daring architecture.

He is the owner of Fort Pitt Furniture, a hotel furniture liquidator, and though Fort Pitt’s retail outlet in Bridgeport is filled with lightly used castoffs from four- and five-star hotels, he denies that he has skimmed the best finds for his own home.

Zawitz living room
In the living room, 16-foot ceilings are brought down to scale by industrial hanging light fixtures. Black mosaic-glass lamps divide the space into two seating areas.  Photo Gallery »

“I leave them for my customers!” he insists. Recently completed, the house is the compilation of three years’ worth of Zawitz’s domestic fantasies, the restaurant-napkin scribbles he would hand his builder after mid-meal brainstorms, blueprinted and brought to reality.

One of the things he dreamed up was the wall of natural fieldstone, almost 40 feet high, that greets visitors just inside the front door. “It looks like you could climb right up,” says the proud owner, who shares the four-bedroom manse with his partner, Rob Cannon. Then there’s the staircase that Zawitz considers “the most important architectural element of the house”—four flights of extra-thick floating treads of custom-stained oak and glazed subway-style bricks with sparkling clear glass lighting tubes in the middle. “At night,” he says, “it has an angelic glow.”

Clearly no angel himself, the entrepreneur relishes a bit of mischief. “This place shocks,” Zawitz admits. “You turn a corner and there’s this wild Clive Christian kitchen.” He describes guests’ reaction as “shock and awe” when they happen onto that baronial space, with its intricate ceiling and gilded tracery, amid his otherwise ultra-modern digs. “When you consider that I don’t cook,” he says, “it’s even more shocking.”

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Photography: Andreas Larsson
Styling: Barri Leiner